The entire account of these martyrs first appeared in the 1563 edition; there were no changes to it in subsequent editions. All of this material came from official records, probably from a court book of Bishop Bonner's which is now lost.
MarginaliaApryll. 28. MarginaliaSixe burned at Colchester. NOt long after the death of Robert Drakes, William Tims, and others before mencioned, there folowed in that most blessed order of martirdome, at one like fire in the towne of Colchester, (where the most part of them did inhabit) MarginaliaMartyrs.
Christoper Lister, Minister.
John Mace was a figure of some prominence in Colchester; he had been sergeant-at-arms of the city until the end of Edward's reign. He was also the brother-in-law of Thomas Dybney, a Colchester alderman who was brought before the privy council in May 1556 and forced publicly to recant his religious convictions.[Back to Top]
Joan Dybney, Thomas Dybney's daughter-in-law, was harassed for her protestant beliefs in Mary's reign and fled into exile (Laquita M. Higgs, Godliness and Governance in Tudor Colchester [Ann Arbor, MI: 1998] pp. 170-71 and 1563, p. 1678). Joan Dybney was also the mother, by a previous marriage, of Thomas Firefanne who would be one of 22 protestants arrested in Colchester and brought to London for trial (Higgs, Godliness and Governance, pp. 224-25).[Back to Top]
Nichols was one of the protestant prisoners in Newgate, led by William Tyms, whom Henry Hart, the leader of the freewillers, tried to convert. Nichols joined the other prisoners in denouncing Hart. (See ECL 260, fo. 87r-v; also see 1563, p. 1530. For a discussion of the episode see Thomas Freeman, 'Dissenters from a DissentingChurch: The Challenge of the Freewillers, 1550-1558' in Peter Marshall and Alec Ryrie,eds., The Beginnings of English Protestantism [Cambridge: 2002], pp. 140-41).[Back to Top]
In 1530, John Hammond had been forced to recant his religious covictions (Laquita Higgs, Godliness and Governance in Tudor Colchester [Ann Arbor, MI: 1998], pp. 111 and 172).
With whom the Byshop, because he (as it semeth by the short processes recorded by his Register) waxed now weary, made a very quicke dispatch. For sone after that they were deliuered vnto one Iohn Kingstone, bacheler of the ciuil law, and then Commissary to the Byshop, by the Earle of Oxford and other Commissioners (as appeareth by a byll indented, made betwene the Comissioners, and the said Cōmyssary, for þe recepte of the sayd prisoners dated the xxviii. day of Marche, Anno regni Regis et Reginæ, Philippi et Mariæ, secundo et tertio.
Anno regni Regis et Reginae, Philippi et Mariae, secundo et tertio. Not translated. in the second and third year of the king and queen, Philip and Mary
Anno regni Regis et Reginae, Philippi et Mariae, secundo et tertio.
in the second and third year of the king and queen, Philip and Mary
Marginalia1To the first article they all consented and agreed. Iohn Spenser adding further thereto, that the church malignāt, (which is the church of Rome) is no parte of Christes Catholicke churche. And that he nether hath, nor doth beleue the doctrine & religion, taught & set forth in the sayd romish and malignaunt church.[Back to Top]
Marginalia2.To the second they all answered: that they beleued that in the true Catholicke church of Christ, there be but two sacraments: that is to saye, the sacrament of Baptisme and the Sacrament of the body and bloud of Christ.
Marginalia3.To the thyrd article they all agreed, confessing that they were Baptised in the fayth and beliefe of the Catholicke church, and that their godfathers and godmothers had professed and promised for them as is conteined in the same article.
Marginalia4.To the fourth they answered, that they alwayes were, and yet then did continue in the
faith and profession wherein they were Baptised. Richard Nicholas adding also: that he had more plainely learned the truth of his profession by the Doctrine set forth in kinge Edward the sixt his dayes, and thereupon he had buylded his faith, and woulde continue in the same to his liues ende, God assisting him.[Back to Top]
Marginalia5.To the fifte they answered, that they neither swarued nor went awaye from the catholicke faith of Christ. How be it they confessed, that within the tyme articulate, and before, they had misliked, and earnestly spoken against the sacrifice of the masse, and agaynst the Sacrament of the altar, affirming that they would not com to heare or be partakers therof, because they had & then did beleue, þt they were set fourth and vsed contrary to gods worde & his glory: and more ouer they did graunt that they had spoken agaynst the vsurped authoryty of the byshop of Rome, as any oppressour of Christes Church, and Gospell, and that hee oughte not to haue any authoryty in England. For all which sayinges they were no whit sory, but rather reioyced & wer glad.[Back to Top]
Marginalia6.To the sixt, they answered that they neuer refused, nor yet then presentlye dyd refuse to be reconciled to the vnitye of Christes catholike church, but they sayd they had, and then dyd, and so euer would hereafter vtterlye refuse to come to the churche of Rome, or to acknowledge the authority of the sea therof, but did vtterly abhor the same, for puttyng down the booke of God, the Byble, and settynge vp the Babilonicall masse, wyth all other Antichristes marchaundise.[Back to Top]
Marginalia7.To the seuenth article, the effect therof they al graunted. And Simond Ioyne declared further, that the cause of his refusing to bee partaker of their trumpery, was for that the commaundementes of God were there broken, & Christes ordinances chaunged and put oute, and the bishop of Romes ordinances in steede thereof put in. Moreouer, as touching the sacrament of Christes body, Christopher Lister affirmed that in the sayde sacrament there is the substaunce of bread and wine, aswel after the words of consecration as before, and that there is not in the same the very body & bloud of Christ really, substātially, truly, but onelye sacramentally & spiriturallye by faithe, in the faithfull receiuers, and that the Masse is not propitiatory, for the quycke, or for the deade, but mere idolatry and abhomination.[Back to Top]
Marginalia8.To theight article they saide that they were sent to Colchester prison, by the K. & Quenes Cōmissioners, because they would not com to their parish churches, & by them sent vnto the B. of London, to be therof further examined.
Marginalia9.To the. ix. they all generallye agreed þt that which they had said in the premisses was true & that they were of the dioces of London.